There's going to be a tornado this Saturday morning here in Kansas City.
What?! You don't believe me? You think this is some sort of April Fool's prank?
No, not a prank...but actually an exercise that I'm participating in on Saturday with the American Red Cross. We're going to "pretend" that a tornado has struck the metro area, and we're going to deploy some of our volunteers and practice our skills in doing damage assessment.
But this got me thinking...
Are YOU prepared for a tornado? (If you live in an area susceptible to one, that is.) Do you have YOUR "kit" in your safe place, ready to go? Because it's that time of year, you know....
In my kit, I have flashlights, blankets, extra tennis shoes for all members of the family, a severe weather radio, gloves, and a stuffed animal.
Okay, I know what you're thinking...most of that stuff makes sense, but a stuffed animal?
The stuffed animal is for my daughter - a "comfort" item, because tornados can be awfully scary. I want her to have something soft and cuddly to hold on to, in case a storm hits.
And the tennis shoes?
Well, several years ago, a "real" tornado struck Kansas City around 2:00 a.m. - yup, you read that right...2:00 a.m. in the morning. The residents had very little warning - perhaps a minute or two - before they jumped out of their beds, barefoot, grabbed their children, and ran to their basements.
When the tornado was done, they all came up out of their basements to assess the damage...barefoot...to be greeted by scenes of destruction: wood, nails, broken glass, and other debris.
Several people were injured in this storm - and most of these injuries were due to cuts on their feet. Tennis shoes in their storm kits would have alleviated these injuries...they wouldn't have had to walk around on broken glass, barefoot. So - that's why I have shoes in my kit. If we have to run like hell to our basements during a storm, and we're barefoot, I don't have to worry grabbing shoes along the way. They'll be waiting for me in my kit.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could schedule a tornado? So that we could all have time to get prepared? But, since we can't schedule a tornado, the time to be prepared is NOW.
The volunteers here in Kansas City of the American Red Cross will be prepared if a tornado strikes our community.
Will you be?